The flap over Senator Thompson’s remarks linking immigration from Cuba to the threat of terrorism has just about played itself out.
It gave Senator Clinton an opportunity to wax indignant at a candidates’ forum in
It gave Senator Thompson a chance to clarify his original statement by stating that
Some didn’t buy it. At Babalu, this reader is one among many Cuban Americans who are still smarting:
“…stand him [Thompson] before an anti-immigrant crowd in South Carolina (where I believe the Confederate Flag still flies over the State Capitol), and he does not hesitate to lump all Cuban ‘immigrants’ together with other ‘terrorists’ sneaking suit case bombs into the country. It was plain old fashioned racist pandering of the worst kind. His attempt to clarify was less than satisfying.”
Others bought it, hook, line, and sinker, such as this blogger at 26th Parallel, who ignored the fact that Ana Belen Montes did not sneak across the
“I came to the conclusion that his comments weren’t directed at Cubans fleeing castro but at the spies such as Ana Belen Montes that we’ve come to know so well.”
What the flap has not done is lead to a discussion about
In his clarification, Senator Thompson says he is worried about
What the Senator misses is that Cubans, unlike people of any other nationality who arrive at the border without a visa, don’t have to “slip through.”
Every day of the week, they walk right in.
They present their Cuban passport at the border station and they are simply admitted – they are granted “parole,” which waives all the rules that would keep an illegal immigrant out, and has nothing to do with refugee or asylee status or any demonstration of a fear of persecution if returned to Cuba. The same thing applies to those who have no visa and reach our shores in boats.
If Fidel Castro wanted to infiltrate operatives into the
Agree with it or not, it is a policy that responds entirely to humanitarian and/or electoral impulses, not to
In other words, we could build a fence along the entire border, electrify it, and station a half million troops there – but as long as current policies toward Cuban migrants are maintained, the supposed danger against which Senator Thompson warned would remain.
So Senator Thompson raised a question that still has not been answered: If Cuba is a threat to